A rail union has hit back at Glasgow SNP MSPs who called on it to suspend a strike ballot for action that would disrupt the COP 26 in Glasgow in November.

The Rail and Maritime Transport union (RMT) is balloting members on taking action on dates that coincide with the summit, when world leaders will be in Glasgow.

They are in dispute with ScotRail over pay and see the summit as a way of highlighting their demands.

Five SNP MSP’s in the city however, have said that the public would not look kindly on disruption to the summit.

The union said the MSPs showed “bare-faced cheek” an accused them of doing nothing while workers fight for better pay.

Rather than focus the calls on the members, the MSPs are targeting, what they call, the “London based” leadership.

Their joint statement “urges” the union to negotiate rather than take strike action.

The action would take place over the duration of the summit, which is being held in the first two weeks of November.

The five MSPs, Bob Doris, Maryhill and Springburn, James Dornan, Cathcart, Bill Kidd, Anniesland, John Mason, Shettleston and Kaukab Stewart, Kelvin are the city’s SNP MSPs who are not members of the Scottish Government.

They said: “We support the right of every worker and union to engage with their employers to seek a pay deal but, in this instance, this is an unhelpful way for the union’s London bosses to go about kickstarting those negotiations.
“The people of Scotland – and the watching world – may not look kindly on a rail union prepared to disrupt this vital summit. COP26 is of critical importance to the future of this planet. The whole world is watching and anticipating an agreement to combat the code red for humanity of which we have all been warned.”
The union hit back and accused the MSPs of “bare faced cheek”.

General Secretary, Mick Lynch, said: "Having sat on their backsides for over six months while Scotrail staff have been fighting for basic pay justice and equality it is sheer bare-faced cheek for the SNP to suddenly issue disgraceful statements demanding that our members call off their disputes. 

 "It is deeply cynical for the establishment political elite in Scotland to use the COP26 as a battering ram to try and hammer down our members pay. We know that rail jobs are green jobs and it’s about time the SNP started recognising that fact and supporting Scotland's rail staff accordingly. 

"I have repeatedly called for a summit with Nicola Sturgeon to resolve the collapse in industrial relations on Scotland's railways that has developed on her watch and would call on the First Minister to stop attacking her rail staff and take up that offer immediately."